Kia Motors Corporation plans to expand its partnerships with global mobility companies to meet the needs of a diverse range of customers worldwide. Kia’s President and CEO Ho Sung Song shared the company’s strategy for global mobility during his visit to the company’s Sohari plant in Korea to review launch preparations for the new fourth-generation Kia Carnival.
Kia is striving to provide customized products and differentiated mobility services based on its long history in automotive manufacturing. Kia will further enhance its collaboration with global partners to offer regionally customized mobility services as it implements its ‘Plan S’ strategy.—President Song
In January, Kia Motors announced its long-term ‘Plan S’ strategy, which outlines the company’s plans to diversify mobility services in strategic regions around the globe.
In Korea, Kia will enhance its local ‘Kia Flex’ vehicle subscription program by expanding the fleet size to 200 vehicles. The vehicle line-up will include the new Carnival, which is nearing its Korean market launch, and a new EV model to be added in the future.
In Europe, Kia will collaborate with global partners to provide a customized mobility service for the region. In 2018, Kia established a car-sharing service called ‘WiBLE’ with Spanish energy company Repsol. WiBLE enables users to rent and return vehicles at designated locations with its ‘free-floating’ system. It currently operates 500 Niro PHEVs and is one of the leading car-sharing providers in Spain. Building on the platform, Kia plans to provide multi-modal mobility services in the future.
Kia will also launch a dealer mobility service in Italy and Russia later this year. This is a new service enabling dealers to rent out their vehicles for any period, from a single day up to a full year. Kia will expand the service gradually across the globe in future.
In North America, Kia will accelerate its electrification efforts and further enhance its cooperation with its mobility partners. The company provided 200 Niro EVs to the car-hailing firm Lyft last year, and this year provided 44 Niro HEVs to MoceanLab, Hyundai Motor Group’s mobility service company.
MoceanLab was established last year to provide mobility services in the City of Los Angeles, and plans to expand its services to include autonomous ridesharing, shuttling, multi-modal transportation, and personal mobility. MoceanLab operates a free-floating system with its 100-vehicle fleet, which includes the new Niro HEV units. Kia plans to develop new products tailored to enhance mobility services based on data from MoceanLab’s service vehicles.
In emerging markets, Kia is also preparing for changes in the mobility service domain. Kia has partnered with companies such as Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing company; Revv, an Indian car-sharing company; and Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing company. These partnerships will enable Kia to better understand the mobility needs of its customers in the development of future vehicles.